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U.S. Senate panel to hold hearing on tech bill to combat China – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) touts Senate Democrats legislative accomplishments as he holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on April 14 on a bipartisan measure to bolster U.S. technology research and development efforts in a bid to address Chinese competition.

The bill, titled the “Endless Frontier Act,” was first proposed in 2020 calling for $110 billion over five years to advance U.S. technology efforts and cosponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Todd Young.

Senate Commerce committee chair Maria Cantwell said in a statement the hearing “will address potential actions to strengthen the U.S. innovation ecosystem, including increasing National Science Foundation research funding; growing and diversifying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline; improving technology transfer; and investing in regional innovation centers.”

Reuters reported the planned hearing early on Wednesday.

Schumer said last month multiple committees will have hearings and mark-ups on bipartisan legislation “designed to bolster American competitiveness and counter the growing economic threats we face across the globe, especially from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Schumer also wants to move legislation on boosting U.S. semiconductor production. Both proposals could total $200 billion, congressional aides said.

The hearing will include Kelvin Droegemeier, who headed the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Donald Trump, University of Notre Dame Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and others including educators from Mississippi State University and the MIT Office of Open Learning.

The committee could hold a separate hearing later in April to debate legislative language, sources said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also is working on legislation addressing worldwide strategic competition with Beijing. Aides said on Wednesday the panel hoped to complete a draft of the measure this week in order to vote on it in the committee as soon as next week.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler and Christopher Cushing